Portland Trail Blazers Weekend Preview & Predictions – 1/30
Saturday, January 30, 2016
That question won’t be answered until Tax Day, the way these teams are going. These next two games for Portland are winnable, and will go a long way towards determining whether this depleted, stripped-down version of the Trail Blazers will still be a playoff squad, despite the best efforts of Neil Olshey to tear the roster down.
All stats are courtesy of NBA.com and basketball-reference.com, and all games can be heard on the NEW radio partner of Oregon Sports News, AM 620 Rip City Radio!
The Skinny: The Wolves are chugging along in their rebuilding process. They have a couple legit young stars in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and a mismatched collection of veterans and D-League level young talent.
I have to say that the team has adjusted well to Flip Saunders’ passing before the season. Flip was the leader of the franchise, and a void like that isn’t easily filled.
I’m not sure that void has been filled adequately, to be real honest. Sam Mitchell is teaching an outdated system of basketball as the coach; there was a reason he was an analyst for NBATV before Saunders hired him to be an assistant. He has Wiggins shooting contested midrange jumpers after dribbling for 10-15 seconds. That’s right out of 1995, which is also the last time Mitchell was an effective strategist.
Regardless of Mitchell’s failings as a coach, the roster itself is still a year or two away from playoff consideration, even with the West’s recent weakness. Another lottery pick that turns out to be a useful rotation player at least would help the Wolves tremendously, especially if said player allows them to move on from Ricky Rubio.
It might not be palatable for Minnesota to give up on Rubio, but when you’re a bad team, all avenues of improvement have to be considered--even if those paths take years to travel, and alienate some fans along the way.
Player To Watch: Damian Lillard. After getting snubbed for the All-Star team, expect Dame to make his displeasure known on the court. A terrible team like the Timberwolves would be prime pickings for a P.O.’ed star like Lillard.
Prediction: The Blazers are 2-0 so far against the Wolves this season. After taking care of business against an equally-terrible Los Angeles Lakers team last week, I expect the Blazers to continue letting the very bad teams know that Portland is still a cut above…even if the Blazers themselves occupy the middle ground that analysts like myself say is a living death in NBA terms.
Last week, I only got the Lakers game right.
Trail Blazers’ Record: 21-26
Jared’s Picks Record: 22-25
Bro Counter: 14 before I owe him $40
Related Slideshow: 15 Biggest Sports Stories of 2015
Seattle Seahawks Fall in Super Bowl
The New England Patriots battled through a nailbiter of a match to win Super Bowl XLIX, which ended in a physical altercation between several players.
Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to the 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Az. The Seahawks defense intercepted two of quarterback Brady's fully inflated passes, but it would be a New England interception in the final minute of the game that would seal the victory for the Patriots.
The 10 Dumbest Coaching Decisions in NFL History
It's always entertaining when NFL head coaches call what they think is a really good play or a really smart decision and then that decision goes completely wrong. Unless it's your team, then it's terrible.
GoLocalPDX took at look at the 10 dumbest coaching decisions in NFL history.
Alex Morgan is Gone and Portland Thorns Fans are to Blame
The face of U.S. women’s soccer, the cover girl of EA Sports FIFA 16, and one of the most recognizable athletes in all of sports, Alex Morgan, is no longer with the Portland Thorns, and it’s all your fault. Because of your relentless support and record-setting attendance, Portland was able to give in to the request of its most recognizable player, sacrificing star power in favor of gathering more talent and potential to make the Thorns a better team. Much better.
Bring the Arizona Coyotes to Portland
Let’s face it. You are a billionaire and while you don’t like to lose money, you own the Trail Blazers and the Seahawks for the fun of it and the thrill of competition.
You’ve obviously succeeded with the Seahawks (though I still don’t care).
And while your 25-year track record with the Trail Blazers is much more middling, the fact that the Trail Blazers remain in Portland owes much to you. In other words, your sports legacy in Seattle is secure in Seattle and probably intact in Portland, save another “Jail Blazers” stretch.
But if you want to cement your legacy in Portland – and have a blast doing it – bring the Coyotes here.
Oregon’s Football Uniforms No Longer a Joke
It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen solely because, but Oregon’s uniform revolution kick-started a metamorphosis of previously ugly ducklings into a sports nation of flourishing fowl. The Ducks of today are not the Ducks of 20 years ago, and the punchline they were due to the innovative route they chose to take has become the road more travelled for everyone else trying to catch up. They’re winning at an unprecedented rate, generating revenue at an unprecedented level, and attracting attention from prospects from unprecedented regions of the country. It isn’t and accident and it isn’t a joke anymore.
It appears the Ducks are the ones laughing now.
Marcus Mariota Selected #2 Overall to Tennessee
With the number two pick in the 2015 NFL Draft the Tennessee Titans selected Marcus Mariota.
While at Oregon he was the perfect role model. He was never seen doing anything he wasn’t supposed to do. He even made weekly visits to the Boys and Girls Club located in Eugene, Oregon. The only hiccup on his record was when he got a speeding ticket during the season. Yet, he paid it off immediately and accepted that he was in the wrong. This is something that Duck fans desperately needed to see after witnessing Jeremiah Masoli, Cliff Harris and Colt Lyerla not live up to their full potential because of poor decisions made off the field. To many Duck fans this is what made Mariota so special.
Jerome Kersey Passes Away at 52
Trail Blazers great Jerome Kersey died in Portland, Wednesday. He was 52.
A medical examiner's report released found that Kersey suffered a pulmonary thromboembolism when a blood clot from his calf dislodged from his calf and plugged in his lung.
Brandon Roy’s Life After Basketball
Due to a number of knee ailments that dated back to his college days Roy was forced to retire from the NBA at the age of 28. It was later discovered that Roy suffered from degenerative knees, an ongoing issue that would provide additional problems in the future if he were to continue with his NBA career. Roy made the tough decision to call it a career after the 2012-2013 season.
Since his retirement from the NBA Roy has found another way to stay involved with the game that has brought him plenty of success.
Oregon Ducks Football Falls in National Championship Game
The first ever College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy will not be coming back to Oregon.
Kurt Helfrich’s Oregon Ducks could not hold off the gritty offense of Cardale Jones and the Ohio State Buckeyes, dropping 42-20.
Will Marijuana Use Cost the Ducks the National Championship?
Multiple reports surfaced late Friday that freshman Darren Carrington would be ineligible for Monday’s national championship against Ohio State for failing a random drug test, supposedly registering a positive for marijuana.
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